Ashley Simpson, missing since April 2016. (Photo contributed)

Ashley Simpson, missing since April 2016. (Photo contributed)

Parents of missing Shuswap woman try all avenues to find daughter

Ashley Simpson added to Please Bring Me Home website

Like most families of missing women, or missing people, John and Cindy Simpson have not given up hope of finding their loved one.

Not that they think their daughter will be found alive, but simply that they’ll find her, that they will be able to bring her home.

Ashley Simpson was last seen on April 27, 2016. She was 32. She had been living on Yankee Flats Road near Silver Creek and was hoping to head home to Ontario to work with her dad again.

Recently her parents added another tool to their search. Ashley’s name has been included on the ‘Please Bring Me Home’ website, a group out of Ontario that searches for missing people. She is one of five missing persons listed on the B.C. portion of the site.

Matthew Nopper, co-founder with Nick Oldrieve of the non-profit group, says it was founded in 2016, and has seen successes. Part of the impetus for its formation came from the death of Nopper’s father who went missing in 2012. He was found after taking his own life.

Read more: Ashley Simpson’s mom pleads for help on third anniversary of her disappearance

Read more: $10,000 reward offered for information on missing Shuswap woman

Please Bring Me Home was featured on television program W5 in the fall. After the airing, tips flooded in regarding people on the website, while interest from retired police officers climbed. The group’s numbers have increased considerably and Nopper says the goal is to create chapters in each province.

People with tips or wishing to volunteer can contact the website, pleasebringmehome.com, leave a private message on Facebook or send an email to: pleasebringmehome@outlook.com.

Nopper encourages people to provide information: “Just to be brave, have the courage to come forward and tell the story. These families need closure and everyone needs to be brought home.”

John Simpson remains baffled why missing people just aren’t being found.

“Not only B.C., but B.C.’s more prevalent.”

A family member donated a $10,000 reward in June for information regarding Ashley, but so far there have been a few leads, mostly just people wanting money, he says.

“There are still four women missing in that area,” John emphasizes, referring to Ashley plus Deanna Wurtz, Caitlin Potts and Nicole Bell. “We can’t seem to find any of them even though there are search parties, drones…I know it wouldn’t be safe to be walking alone in that area if I was female.”

Regarding Curtis Sagmoen, who was living on his parents’ property in Silver Creek where the remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux were found there in October 2017, John says only: “I’m on the fence on that whole situation.”

Read more: Missing Shuswap woman catalyst for new search technology

Read more: Walking for missing women

John is grateful for the work being done by Shane Michaels with Wings of Mercy, a volunteer group using cutting-edge drone technology to help rural and remote communities find people who are missing.

Shane’s a pretty remarkable person. He’s done a lot for families, more than he realizes I think,” John says, adding it’s good to know Michaels started his group because of Ashley and the pink suitcase she was reported to be carrying when she disappeared.

John points out that when the searches in the Shuswap began for the missing women, there were about three drone pilots in the area; now there are hundreds of people across the country searching.

“That’s what I was hoping people would do, and that’s what they’re doing.”

Meanwhile, John and his family are keeping busy, trying to raise money for their searches as well as for other families who are struggling in similar situations.

“Our way is to try to do as much as we can, to make something good out of something bad,” he says. “We keep paying it forward, hoping something good will come out of it.”

John adds that friends and family have seen loved ones die over the past couple of years.

“You have to enjoy what you have when you have it. You never know when it’s going to go…”



marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Primary Urgent Care Centre on Martin Street officially opened on March 31, 2021. (Brennan Phillips)
Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District reverses funding decision on care centre

Approval now granted to fund $1 million for Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Penticton

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Similkameen Elementary Secondary School (google maps)
More potential exposures dates added to Keremeos school by Interior Health

The entire school week from April 26 to 30 now had a potential exposure

A new video from South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS), released May 6 in collaboration with the Okanagan Chambers COVID Response Coalition (#OKWeGotThis), features members of communities across the Okanagan including Oliver, Penticton, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. (South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services/Screenshot)
VIDEO: Penticton immigrant service group releases video addressing racism in the Okanagan

Video begins by using real audio from racist incidents in the Okanagan

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New temporary outdoor shelter in Kelowna opens

The new area on Richter Street and Weddell Place replaces the Baillie Avenue site

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read